The waste generation crisis is a wake up call for our way of living as a species amongst other species on a finite planet. Globalisation may have transformed our world into a global village but its workings have also promoted an individualism that has smashed solidarity with our neighbours near and far.
So, not long after you put serious thought into re thinking waste you realise you have to re think yourself. And to do that its always a good idea to draw on others whose insight helps illuminate the way. Here are a couple of quotes that I find useful in helping us move into the new paradigm we need to help bring into existence to rescue ourselves and the planet from ourselves.
Looking with new eyes
“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Care for ourselves and we care for our world
“Many people are aware of the Earth’s suffering, and their hearts are filled with compassion. They know what needs to be done, and they engage in political, social, and environmental work to try to change things. But after a period of intense involvement, they often become discouraged because they lack the strength to sustain a life of action. Intellect alone is not enough to guide a life of compassionate action. To effectively influence the future of our world we need something more. Real strength can be found not in power, money, or weapons, but in deep, inner peace. When we have enough insight, we are not caught by many of the difficult situations we face anymore. We can get out of difficult situations very easily. When we change our daily lives- the way we think, speak, and act – we change the world. It is important for us to live in such a way that in every moment we are deeply there with our true presence, always alive and nourishing the insight of interbeing. Without peace and happiness we cannot take care of ourselves, other species, or the planet. That’s why the best way to care for the environment is to care for the environmentalist.”
Thich Nhat Hanh